Written Testimony Presented to the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) on Close to Home: Draft Plan for Non-Secure Placement, Center for HIV Law and Policy (2012)

Testimony Before Legislative and Administrative Bodies

The Center for HIV Law and Policy submitted this testimony on May 8, 2012 to the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) on the agency's proposal for the implementation of the Close to Home initiative, which plans for the transition of youth placed in non-secure placement from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) custody to ACS custody. A shortened version of the testimony was presented at a public hearing on May 7, 2012 by CHLP's Adrian Guzman, followed by complementary testimony from Teen SENSE member Dr. Jeffrey Birnbaum, Program Director of the Health and Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) Program.

The written testimony focuses on ACS's plans for LGBTQ youth and youth living with or at significant risk of HIV/AIDS who are in non-secure placement. It highlights four key opportunities for improving health outcomes for youth in state care: (1) To refine and standardize the content of the current ACS sexual health care and sexual health education policies using CHLP's Teen SENSE Model Policies and Standards; (2) To refine and standardize the content of the ACS staff training and provider agency training; (3) To the current ACS quality assurance systems that assess placements and provider agency performance more concrete and reliable; and (4) To work closely with the Juvenile Justice Planning and Measurement Unit under the Division of Policy, Planning, and Measurement to ensure implementation and enforcement of the draft plan's finalized policies.